Some carvings from June

Here are a few shots of some in-process birds I've got going.

First is a low-head mallard I'm carving out of a gorgeous piece of red cedar that Tom Newell gave me. I'll be sad when this is done becuase it's such a beautiful piece of wood to work on.

redCedarLowHead Mallard.JPG

Next is a pintail carved out of Oregon sugar pine with a basswood head. The tail is not carved in this picture yet, but I'll insert a flexible piece of plastic becuase this is designed as a gunning bird. This is the prototype from a new pattern I drew and I'm pretty happy with the results. This won't be the last I carve from this pattern.


Finally, here is a pair of mallards, also from new patterns I developed recently. I'll be doing another (abbreviated) photo journal of another drake just like the one in the photo here. no really fancy carving on the back becuase they are going to someone who will hunt them hard. Just a little detail on the back to add some interest, and a small undercut on the edges of the primary feathers. 


Setting up the new shop

I spent part of the day today setting up the new shop. I'm really having to re-think how I have things set up. At my last house I basically had unlimited space to work with. I sold off all of my big tools before the move. I'll re-aquire some of things I need as I need them. I just need to figure out where they'll go first. 

Power is big thing I'm dealing with currently. Right now, I've only got one 15 amp circuit available to me with no room left in the panel. I can make it work if I get another 20 amp circuit. Looks like a call to the electrician is in my future.

Here's a couple pictures of what I'm working with now. Clearly I have a ways to go in my setup. I'm thinking about setting up a temporary paint area in a free room in the house since I really don't have any available horizontal surfaces to use in the garage yet.

Poor-man's shaving horse

Here's a "poor-man's" shaving horse I whipped up tonight. This is the true sense of function over form. There is nothing pretty about it, but it doesn't rack at all, and only took me about 30 minutes to complete. It's nothing more than a single 10' 2x10. I cut a 3' section for the seat, 2 2' pieces for the legs, and a piece about 33" for the stretcher to tie it all together. I assembled it with nothing more than 3" deck screws.

I also installed my new hydraulic work holder.

With a simple twist of a knob, I can move a swivel the decoy 360 degrees or move it up and down from 90 to 180 degrees. This is the perfect holder for using traditional hand tools such as a drawknife, spokeshave, rasps and files. Here's a couple pictures to give you an idea of just how positionable the work-piece is.

I've wanted something like this for the longest time. It's a far sight better than what I was previously using.

I've been getting by on this vise for so long now I have to wonder why I waited so long to upgrade.


Saturday Night Painting

Here's a pretty unvarnished shot of the painting area of my workshop. It's a little cleaner than usual because I vacuumed today. It was at the point where I was tracking wood-chips all over the basement so I thought it was about time to clean up a little.

I snapped this picture as I was finishing up for the night on Saturday. I'm currently painting a three bird rig of mallards for a show coming up this summer. The quality isn't so great becuase it's just a snap from my iPhone, but I wanted to show it un-staged. I'll snap some better quality shots of the different areas of the workshop at a later date.

These are going to be detailed gunning birds. I spend a little more time painting than you might when you are painting an entire hunting spread. These are for competition though, so I like spending some extra time making them look a little better.

Over to the right, you can see a couple more mallards that I'm going to do in an IWCA style. The hen is carved and primed, but the drake has a way to go still. the head is about 80% complete. I just need to add the glass eyes. The body is only roughed out and needs quite a bit of work still.